Soft Baked Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Introducing the dreamiest fall cookie to pair with your pumpkin spice latte: pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies! These soft baked pumpkin snickerdoodles are perfectly soft and chewy. The secret to these incredible cookies is browning a portion of the butter. Melted brown butter is the most magical ingredient and adds rich, nutty flavor that perfectly complements the pumpkin pie spice. Recipe yields 26 cookies.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Made with real pumpkin and filled with cozy spice flavor, this seasonal twist on classic snickerdoodle cookies is for the soft, pillowy cookie lover.

Similar in texture to my molasses spice cookies, these snickerdoodle pumpkin cookies are seriously soft and chewy and one of my favorite homemade cookie recipes!

Essential Ingredients

  • Butter – Use unsalted butter to control the salt level. Half the butter is browned and then cooled for 30 minutes. The remaining butter is used in solid state (at room temperature).
  • Pumpkin puree – Use pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, which contains additional sugar and spices).
  • Flour – Use all-purpose flour.
  • Cream of tartar – A must for snickerdoodle cookies! Cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles a slightly tangy flavor and creates the distinctive chewy texture.
  • Spices – I use my favorite blend of pumpkin spice (ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg) to bring out the pumpkin flavor. For ease, you can also substitute pumpkin pie spice. You’ll need additional ground cinnamon for rolling the cookies.
  • Baking soda – Gives the cookies a lift.
  • Salt – For flavor.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar sweetens the cookie dough. You’ll also use granulated sugar in the cinnamon-sugar mixture for rolling.
  • Egg yolk – One large egg yolk binds the dough together.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract flavors the pumpkin dough.

Pro tip: This recipe uses 1/2 cup pure pumpkin and is the perfect way to use up some leftover pumpkin puree! Find more inspiration for leftover pumpkin in my collection of pumpkin dessert recipes.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Brown (half of) the butter — Browning one stick of butter imparts these cookies with the toasty, caramelized notes of brown butter.

If you’re new to making brown butter, don’t miss my full step-by-step tutorial (video included!). The other stick of butter is used at room temperature and provides the necessary water content to bring the dough together.

Blot the pumpkin — Pure pumpkin puree contains lots of natural moisture that tends to give pumpkin cookies a cakey texture.

To reduce some of that moisture (for better-textured cookies), measure out the pumpkin puree onto a plate lined with paper towel. Top with another paper towel, and let stand for at least 10 minutes to absorb excess moisture before using in the cookie dough.

Chill the dough — The pumpkin snickerdoodle dough is incredibly soft, so be sure to chill for at least 1 hour before scooping into balls, rolling in cinnamon-sugar, and baking. I also like to pop the dough back into the fridge to stay cool in between batches.

Bake cookies just until set — For soft baked cookies, bake for about 11 minutes, just until the cookies are puffed and crackly, with the edges set. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Step by Step

Brown butter: Cook 1/2 cup unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan until browned. Pour brown butter into a bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, until cool to the touch and still mostly liquid.

Blot pumpkin: While the brown butter chills, blot pumpkin puree between two layers of paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together all-purpose flour, cream of tartar, spices, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. 

Make pumpkin snickerdoodle dough: Beat 1/2 cup room temperature butter, cooled brown butter, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.

Add pumpkin puree, egg yolk, and vanilla extract to the mixer bowl. Beat in until combined.

Gradually mix in dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated and a soft dough forms.

Chill dough: Cover dough (I like to press a piece of plastic directly across the surface of the dough) and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Scoop and shape dough: Use a medium cookie scoop coated with nonstick spray to form 1 1/2-inch balls of dough. Roll the balls in cinnamon sugar and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press the tops to flatten slightly.

Bake cookies for 11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed and cracked, with edges set. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Ahead Tips

If you’d like to make the dough in advance, simply roll into balls (without the cinnamon sugar coating) and freeze on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Transfer the cookie dough balls to an airtight container in the freezer (or tightly seal in freezer bags) for up to 2 months.

Just before baking, roll the cookie dough in cinnamon sugar. Bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.

Freezing Tips

You can freeze pumpkin snickerdoodles for up to 2 months. After they have cooled completely, freeze flat on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then transfer them to an airtight container and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw the cookies at room temperature.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

More favorite soft baked cookies:

Did you try this Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating below!

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Soft Baked Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 51 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Yield: 26 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

Spiced pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies with soft baked centers! Made with real pumpkin and brown butter, these are the perfect fall cookie! Recipe yields 26 cookies.


Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup (224 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1/2 cup (122 g) pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (8 g) cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp (4 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp (4.5 g) salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk (18 g)
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract

For Rolling

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (4 g) ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Brown butter: Cook 1/2 cup (112 g) unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan until browned (full tutorial here). Pour brown butter into a ramekin or glass bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, until cool to the touch and still mostly liquid.
  2. Pumpkin puree: Measure out pumpkin puree onto a plate lined with paper towel. Top with another piece of paper towel, gently pressing puree into an even layer. Let stand for 10 minutes to remove excess moisture.
  3. Make dough: Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, spices, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat remaining 1/2 cup (112 g) room temperature butter, cooled brown butter, and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until creamy (about 2 minutes); beat in pumpkin puree, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; beat just until incorporated.
  4. Chill dough: The dough will be soft – cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Whisk together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a cookie scoop coated with nonstick spray to scoop 1 1/2-inch balls of dough (approximately 32 to 34 grams each). Roll the balls of dough generously in cinnamon-sugar and place two inches apart, 9 balls of dough per baking sheet. Press the tops to flatten slightly.
  7. Bake cookies for 11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed and crackly, with edges set. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.


Notes

Pumpkin: Use pure pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugar.

Spices: For ease, you can also use 3 teaspoons (6 grams) pumpkin pie spice.

Make Ahead: Roll the dough into balls (without the cinnamon-sugar coating) and freeze on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just before baking, roll the cookie dough in cinnamon-sugar and bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.

Keywords: Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

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12 Comments

  1. Baked these snickerdoodles for my coworkers and they were such a hit!! Perfect texture and flavor, highly recommend!

  2. I’m a huge snickerdoodle fan and these pumpkin snickerdoodles baked up perfectly! Love the not-cakey texture and all the great spice flavor.

    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! I typically bake with King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill unbleached all-purpose flour.